Mt. Oliver Borough will begin a pilot program for senior citizens, disabled and veterans to help with keeping the grass cut on their property. The program, as discussed at the May public meeting of the Borough Council, would benefit up to 20 owner-occupied residents of the borough on a first-come first-served basis. The pilot program, as presented by Borough Manager Rick Hopkinson, would use an outside contractor to do the grass cutting.

Currently, the borough uses a contractor to maintain vacant lots. Mr. Hopkinson anticipates they would use the same contractor for the grass cutting. The pilot program begins immediately and extends to the beginning of October. Lawns would be cut every other week.

He estimated the cost of the program for 20 residents would be about the same as the hiring of one part-time temporary summer employee. He added the borough didn’t plan to hire a seasonal employee this year. The program would be modeled after the City Cuts program and could be “tweaked” with volunteers, if needed. To qualify, property owners must be at least 62 years of age, have a physical disability or be a military veteran. Only owner-occupied homes are eligible because property owners are responsible for grass maintenance.

Those applying for the program must also attest they don’t have available resources for grass cutting including financial resources or help from local family or friends. Mr. Hopkinson will work with the borough solicitor to create an application for this year. Going forward in future years, the criteria for the program may be adjusted.

Tom Smith is the former Managing Editor of the South Pittsburgh Reporter from 2000 until 2023. Following in his mother's footsteps, he delivered news that changed our world.